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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Duke Falls to No. 8 NC State in ACC Opener
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/25/2019
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RALEIGH, N.C.—Mitch Finesilver and Matt Finesilver both picked up top-20 victories in the Blue Devils’ ACC wrestling opener at eighth-ranked NC State tonight. The Wolfpack used a fast start to garner the 30-12 win over the Blue Devils.

Duke falls to 2-3 overall on the year and 0-1 in ACC competition. The match was the first of five against top-25 opponents coming up for the Blue Devils. 

It was all NC State (13-2, 1-0) in the first four matches as the Wolfpack jumped out to a 20-0 lead thanks to a pair of bonus point victories and a Duke forfeit at 133 pounds.

Sixth-ranked Mitch Finesilver, Duke’s wins leader on the year, put the Blue Devils on the board with a dominant top-10 victory over No. 8 Justin Oliver.

Mitch scored a takedown early in the first period and controlled the pace of the match, notching his first major decision of the season with a 10-0 victory. It was his ninth over a top-20 foe and pushed his career wins total to 83.

At 157 pounds, Duke sophomore Benjamin Anderson faced his toughest task of the season against fourth-ranked Hayden Hidlay. Anderson scored a takedown in the second period to pull within two, but a strong finish from NC State redshirt sophomore gave the 2018 NCAA finalist the 15-5 major decision.

The 165-pound match was a thriller with Zach Finesilver coming up just short in a 4-3 decision. Up against 17th-ranked Thomas Bullard, Zach rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the match 3-3 in the third period. Bullard quickly responded with an escape to take the 4-3 lead and did just enough in the waning seconds to avoid the takedown from Zach.

The excitement continued at 174 pounds with a nearly identical match between Duke’s Matt Finesilver and Daniel Bullard. The 20th-ranked Bullard grabbed the early lead, but Matt, ranked 17th nationally, stayed close and tied the match 6-6 late in the third period.

Bullard, much like his twin brother, escaped to go in front 7-6, but it was Matt finishing the match with a takedown as time expired for the 8-7 decision. The win was Matt’s second top-20 victory and 18th overall on the year.

Kaden Russell, at 184 pounds, came out and dominated his action against Alex Faison. The sophomore added five points to Duke’s team score with a 19-3 technical fall. He improves to 15-8 on the year.

NC State capped the night with a narrow 8-5 victory from Malik McDonald, ranked 21st in the coaches’ rankings, over Alec Schenk.

The Blue Devils hit the road again Sunday, Jan. 27 against Old Dominion. The match is slated to start at 1 p.m., at the Ted Constant Center.


285: Deonte Wilson (NCSU) decision Araad Fisher (Duke), 2-0 | NC State 3, Duke 0

125: Zurich Storm (NCSU) tech fall Harrison Campbell (Duke), 19-4, 5:23 | NC State 8, Duke 0

133: Tariq Wilson (NCSU) wins by forfeit | NC State 14, Duke 0

141: Jamel Morris (NCSU) fall Josh Finesilver (Duke), 1:06 | NC State 20, Duke 0

149: No. 6 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) major decision No. 8 Justin Oliver (NCSU), 10-0 | NC State 20, Duke 4

157: No. 4 Hayden Hidlay (NC State) major dec. Benjamin Anderson (Duke), 15-5 | NC State 24, Duke 4

165: No. 17 Thomas Bullard (NC State) decision Zach Finesilver (Duke), 4-3 | NC State 27, Duke 4

174: No. 17 Matt Finesilver (Duke) decision No. 20 Daniel Bullard (NCSU), 8-7 | NC State 27, Duke 7

184: Kaden Russell (Duke) tech fall Alex Faison (NCSU), 19-3 | NC State 27, Duke 12

197: Malik McDonald (NC State) decision Alec Schenk (Duke), 8-5 | NC State 30, Duke 12